A day of commemoration, a time to reflect in Wolfeboro
WOLFEBORO — Hundreds of spectators turned out for the annual Memorial Day Parade, wreath laying and flag-raising ceremonies held Monday at several war memorials downtown.
Members of the local American Legion Harriman Hale Post 18 organize the annual parade, led by former post Commander and current First Vice Commander Harold Chamberlin. Veterans from every branch of armed services, members of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 18, and the Kingswood Regional High School Marching Band marched from Monument Field to the Carpenter School, the Wolfeboro Post Office, the town docks and then to Cate Park, where Executive Councilor and U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Joe Kenney gave a speech from the Wolfeboro Community Bandstand.
Onlookers followed the parade to each stop, where Chamberlin raised the flags — the United States flag, the State of New Hampshire flag, and the MIA-POW flag — and members of the American Legion Auxiliary — Sergeant in Arms Carol Chamberlin-Clough (Harold’s sister), President Rachel Chamberlin (Harold’s wife) and Secretary-Treasurer Madeleine Jacques — set wreaths at each memorial. At each stop, members of the Marching Band played “Taps,” and a firing brigade shot three rifle shots into the air, much to chagrin of some dogs in the audience.
The last ceremony was held at the end of one of the docks, where Auxiliary members tossed flowers into Lake Winnipesaukee in remembrance of those who have served at sea.
In his remarks, Executive Councilor Kenney, a 30-year veteran who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, told the crowd that freedom comes with a price.
“Today we commemorate Memorial Day. It is not a day of celebration but a day of commemoration to remind us of our fallen servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
“From the American Revolutionary War to the war on global terrorism it has been the American veteran who has protected and preserved our way of life to make us the freest country the world has ever known. But this freedom has not gone without a price and over one million service men and women have died over the course of American history as a result of conflict and war,” said Kenney.
In his speech he honored local veterans Specialist Matthew Stanley of Wolfeboro who was killed in Iraq in 2006, and Howard Chamberlin of Brookfield (Harold’s brother) who was killed in Vietnam in 1967.
“Veterans like Matthew Stanley and Howard Chamberlin should never be forgotten, because a country that forgets their fallen will ultimately meet its demise. It is the responsibility of all Americans to remember our fallen veterans on Memorial Day and commitment to teach future generations that freedom is not free,” said Kenney.
In closing, Kenney said Memorial Day is not about “beaches, picnics or auto races.”
“It is a day to remember the sacrifices that have made us America,” he said. “God bless America and God bless our fallen heroes.”
After the speech Chamberlin requested one final number from the band, and he thanked Kingswood Regional High School Music Director Bob Burns for the Memorial Day performances.
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